Maloya Moshpit

Maloya Moshpit bursts with the cultural and evolutionary influence of creolisation – the mixing of cultures producing a new culture.


Maloya Moshpit bursts with the cultural and evolutionary influence of creolisation – the mixing of cultures producing new culture. In a live mash up of dance, music, percussion, and song, you’ll be party to a collective act of cultural collision, churn, and bloom in a performance petri dish.

We invite bold adventurers and dance floor afficionados into a cultural collision – a performance that gives rise to new forms of expression.

Maloya Moshpit collides an ancient Creole performance form of cultural resistance and social resilience – Maloya, with contemporary subcultures of resistance and street celebration to explore how we can delight in difference and live in common.

For audiences, whether observing or participating, Maloya Moshpit is an evolution in progress, an ever-shifting utopia where legends hover – a constant becoming where together we become again.

A short history of Maloya:

Maloya is a 300-year old Reunion Island living performance practice which through a process of creolization, directly expresses the cultural influence of those who participate in it. Maloya artists are often both dancers and musicians with percussion and sung-vocal practices. Maloyas’ cultural influences, particularly, African, Malagasy, Tamil, Chinese and Creole are informed by histories of displacement through slavery, indentured work oppression and censorship. Its history mirrors the greater global history of cultural robustness and recovery which often emerges in contexts of displacement and migration arising from Western colonisation and colonial systems of international trade.

In mashing contemporary forms of live dance, music, and voice with the Maloya, Maloya Moshpit offers an arena where shift is a constant. Contemporary cultural influences, new languages, displacements, and ways of being together produce transformations that expose our collective capacity to evolve. Maloya Moshpit’s ambitious proposition is that from the edge to the centre, public contribution to a constantly evolving performance language will reflect who we are as a people.

Maloya Moshpit is ambitious in the scale of production, partnership, artistry, and its intercultural merging and mashing of form with contemporary performance.


Concept, dramaturgy, direction – Jude Anderson
Key artist and Maloya expert – Muriel Hillion Toulcanon
Performers – Deepa Mani, Joshinder Chaggar, Michaela Ottone, Carole Katz
Staging and Lighting Design, Production Management – Morwenna Schenck
Key artist and Composer – Justin Marshall
Percussion – Jeremy Goinden
Electronics and Sound Design – Thomas ‘Soup’ Campbell
Management – Pippa Bainbridge
Stage Management and assistance – Akuek Deng
Graphic Design – Design By Committee
Documentation – Leonie Van Eyk (video), Di Domonkos (images)

Artist Bios:

MURIEL HILLION-TOULCANON – key artist/performer
Muriel Hillion-Toulcanon is a Réunionese/Australian artist based in Perth since 2009. Born and raised in La Réunion – a former French colony in the Indian Ocean – she embodies in her arts practice and research the complexities and subtleties of the Réunionese dance and music art form: Maloya. She is considered an expert in the customs and rituals of this performance form which was recognized by UNESCO in 2009 for its ‘Intangible Cultural Heritage Value.’  

 Muriel’s interest in the Réunionese culture led her to undertake studies in cross-cultural fields in La Réunion. She recently completed a Doctor of Philosophy at the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts at Edith Cowan University. Her research is associated with her artistic practice and specialist knowledge of Maloya. She has devised creative works for commissions, choreographed and/or performed in respected international professional contexts including South Africa, Asia, Europe and Australia to critical acclaim, and has presented papers on her work at international conferences. In 2021 she founded and is Artistic Director of SALAMA – a Perth based Creole performance association and part of IOCA (the Indian Ocean Creole Artistry Inc.). 

JUDE ANDERSON – dramaturge, co-devisor, creative producer
Jude is an award-winning live performance maker and founder and Artistic Director of Punctum Inc. She has 30 years experience devising contemporary performance work in Australia, Europe, South America and South Africa as a director, producer, choreographer, live artist, writer, dramaturge, designer, and curator. She is highly regarded for her advocacy of collaborative and experimental art practice in rural and regional settings. Since 2004 she has had numerous national and international commissions from major producers, presenters, and festivals, and has established a nationally renowned regionally based residency program where hundreds of artists have developed new works drawing from Punctum’s place and experience in Dja Dja Wurrung Country, central Victoria.  

A questioning of systems and audience engagement threads her practice, and her participatory works often speak to the application of evolutionary theory and speculative futures in our context of migration, displacement, and rapid climate change. She was the 2018 Australia Council Fellow for Experimental Arts Practice and recipient of the 2019 Geoffrey Milne Memorial Award for Outstanding Contribution to Experimental Performance. Most recently, a work she co-directed with Groupe Merci – ‘La Mastication des Morts’, was featured in the 2022 Avignon Festival. 

DEEPA MANI – Associated artist/performer
Deepa Mani is a Performing and Teaching artist with over 30 years’ experience in both Classical Bharathanatyam and Contemporary dance forms. An accomplished performer, she is currently a dance theatre producer and owner of Chandralaya School of Dance. Deepa was born in Chennai where indentured workers were supplied to colonizing powers as a cheap labor force – including the British and French on Reunion Island. She is a lifelong student of the ancient artform of Bharatanatyam and has lived and danced in India, the United States and now Australia, forging community through her advocacy for dance as a pathway to wellbeing. 

In early 2000 Deepa moved to the United States and delivered successful performances traveling widely within the country. She diversified into contemporary dance when she joined Tehreema Mitha Dance Company (TMDC), well known for its highly athletic and contemporary dance styles. As one of the lead dancers, Deepa performed in eminent productions including Metro DC Dance, Capitol Fringe and Alexandria Performing Arts. In 2008, Deepa moved to Melbourne and continued her practice. 

Aside from being an Artistic Director and performer, Deepa is also a Teaching Artist at the prestigious John F. Kennedy Center for Performing Arts, Regional Arts Victoria, and The Song Room. She serves on the Executive Board of the Not-for-Profit Creative Women’s Circle whose mission is to facilitate the connection and development of women in many creative and diverse industries. Deepa is a business mentor for young women and girls bringing her highly regarded professional experience in IT, business and systems architecture, strategy and transformation to her mentoring. 

JOSHINDER CHAGGAR – Associated artist/performer
Joshinder Chaggar is a Melbourne based creative performing artist. She is a dancer, choreographer, actor, teacher, writer and film-maker. She is currently undertaking her PhD candidature at Deakin university, researching identity and interculturalism through dance. Her work centres on themes of identity, freedom and transcendence. Her work is influenced by physical theatre, Indian folk and classical dance. Joshinder spent ten years in Karachi, Pakistan (2007-2017), working in theatre, television, live events and films. She also taught ‘Movement for Actors’ at the National Academy of Performing Arts in Karachi. She has participated in many festivals locally and internationally such as the Edinburgh showcase 2017, Mapping Melbourne 2017, NAPA International theatre festival (Karachi), Karachi Biennale 2017, Kunstareal Fest 2017 (Munich), Emerge in Yarra (2018), India @Mindil 2019 (Darwin), and Dancing Between Two Worlds (2019). She is the recipient of a collaborative Green Room Award (2022), ‘Best Cabaret’, for the work TakeBack (Role – performer).  

MICHAELA OTTONE – Associated artist/performer
Michaela Ottone is a multidisciplinary artist, working predominantly in performance, choreography and photography. She completed her Bachelor of Creative Arts (Dance) at Deakin University, where she later completed her BA Creative Arts (Honours). Michaela has performed in her own work, plus those of choreographers such as Amrita Hepi, Deanne Butterworth, Olivia Millard and Sally Gardner.  

Michaela was a 2021 Emerging Choreographer’s Program recipient at Dancehouse and was supported by Creative Victoria, Regional Arts Victoria, and Brimbank City Council for St. Alban Community Centre’s Room to Move artist residency. Her debut solo photography exhibition On Being featured in the 2021 Ballarat International Foto Biennale Open Program. 

Michaela’s practice is conceptually focused on relational dynamics. She is curious about shared universal gestures, languages and vulnerabilities, and how these may allow us to further connect with and understand each other. These interests also apply in her dancing but are present physically through the ways in which she processes and responds to her personal context and experiences.  

CAROLE KATZ – Associated artist/performer
Born in Reunion Island from migrating parents from Madagascar, Carole Katz grew up with a love for ballroom dancing and French musicals. It’s only in Australia that she truly discovered and dived into Reunion’s Maloya music and dance. She is now a singer, songwriter and dancer in Salama, a Perth-based flamboyant Maloya band. Lover of poetry and sunny rhythms, Carole is passionate about sharing the vibrant Creole music and dance in Australia and beyond.  

JUSTIN MARSHALL – composer/multi-instrumentalist 
Justin Marshall is a multi-instrumentalist, composer and sound producer who has worked extensively in contemporary sound art, popular, and world music. He is a core member of ARIA nominated Emma Donovan and The Putbacks and helped produce their last award-winning album at his studio, Ghost Recording Studio, in Castlemaine in 2021.  

His most recent works in development include sound design for The Village Fire Garden with Uncle Ron Murray, and sound design and music direction of “The Maloya Moshpit” (Punctum Inc.). Recent productions are sound and design for “Kultur-All Makaan” 2021 (Castlemaine State Festival/Punctum Inc), “Sound Capsule” and “Wayfinders” (Artplay 2021) and “Sonic Labyrinth” co-created with Aviva Endean and presented at the 2019 Castlemaine State Festival and 2019 Melbourne Fringe Festival and was nominated for a Green Room Award (2020). 

Since graduating from the VCA in 2001 as a percussionist, Justin has enjoyed performing across Australia and at major international festivals, striving to push musical boundaries with groups such as ARIA award winning Zulya and the Children of the Underground, Speak Percussion, Polyglot Theatre, The Cumbia Cosmonauts, Emma Donovan and The Putbacks, D.D.Dumbo, Umlaut (Bar McKinnon) and The Wikimen.  

Morwenna has a degree majoring in design and production from the Victorian College of the Arts. She is a freelance designer and project manager and has delivered projects across various creative industries in both creative and production roles for theatre, festivals, galleries, exhibitions, and televised events. Her practice includes design, illustration, drafting, technical documentation, construction, and production management. In 2018 after four years with Bluebottle Lighting, Morwenna moved into freelance design and project management to develop her design practice across performance, experimental arts and public space. 

She has worked on a number of projects exploring perspectives on climate and ecology – most recently ‘Duty of Care’ for ACCA’s exhibition program ‘Who’s Afraid of Public Space?’ and ‘The Way-The Water-The Walk’ with Punctum Inc presented at Castlemaine Art Museum. Morwenna has worked with Punctum Inc since 2011. Key design projects she has developed as a designer with Punctum include Public Cooling House, Kultur-All Makaan and The Way-The Water-The Walk. She is also a designer with Polyglot, and Production Manager for the Melbourne Comedy Festival. 

THOMAS CAMPBELL – electronics composer/sound engineer
Thomas ‘Soup’ Campbell also known as ‘A Million Things’ is an award-winning Composer, Music  Producer, Record Producer and Sound Engineer. Thomas has collaborated with prestigious Victorian arts organisations including Back to Back Theatre, Melbourne Recital Centre, Creative Victoria and Multicultural Arts Victoria. He produces music, creates sound designs and builds bespoke interactive systems for organisations and installation artists including Born In A Taxi, A Blanck Canvas and The Indirect Object. 

As a composer, performer and producer Thomas has been a core member of bands including The Cumbia Cosmonauts, Miso, Editor and Joelistics. Thomas has a long list of notable performances including festival appearances in Germany, The Netherlands, Belgium, Russia and Switzerland. Thomas won Best Original Music at the WA Screen Awards for Sol Bunker. Other works include the Capricornia Film Award winning series Zero Point by animator Jonathon Saunders and collaborations with the ABC creating original music for the six-part series ‘The Word’. 

JEREMY GOINDEN – associated percussionist
Australian/Mauritian percussionist Jeremy Goinden is currently studying his MA in jazz performance at WAAPA. Descending from a family of professional musicians, he has performed and composed with Latin band – Candela, Gemma Farrel’s Quartet – ‘Split Kick’ and the Mauritian Kaspoz Band – ‘457’ led by Thierryno Gango. 


The initial development of MALOYA MOSHPIT was supported by Dancehouse in February 2022.

In May 2022, the second stage development took place as part of Goods Shed Arts and Castlemaine State Festival’s FURTHER Residency Program, which is supported by the Australia Council, Sidney Myer Fund, Playking Foundation and the Community Impact Fund.

The premiere in March 2023 is presented with the generous support of Castlemaine State Festival, the Community Impact Fund and Creative Victoria.


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